Clueless in San Antonio

By Culinary Cowboy | November 20, 2007

I’ve been working on a big documentary project.  It has been an all-consuming affair.

Last night, when I finally decided that 11 hours was enough, I stopped by the store on the way “home” (I am staying with a friend).  I wanted to pick up some chunks of pork.

My nearby HEB supermarke’s butcher has begun an interesting bit of marketing.  They take all the chunks left over after trimming and package them up.  They usually go for $1.69 a pound or something like that.  You can grill them or stew them or whatever.

I wanted brown and roast some.  I was up for some crusty, juicy meat.   There was none.

I was tired and got a bit grouchy when my mission failed.  So, I guess I was noticing little things more than usual.  I had no cart.  Two clueless and/or totally inconsiderate people had their carts up together and were chatting away, all but completely blocking the way.  Another women with a cart filled the void.  I pulled short and waited for her to pass.  She stopped.  She asked an employee where the bathrooms were, got her answer and was off like a shot to the bathroom, leaving her cart behind.  The employee and I looked at each other in disbelief and cleared the cart out of the way.

Damn, I was thinking.  This place seems crowded tonight.  I continued to bump and spin and reach around people pushing in front of me or blocking the way.   I was weary of it all.

Why, I asked myself, are there so damn many people here?

I kid you not, it took awhile to sink in.

Ya think it had something to do with Thanksgiving?  I’d completely forgotten it was upon us, despite the inordinate amount of turkeys on display.

Topics: Bargains, Holidays, pork | No Comments »

OK, this may gag some of you…

By Culinary Cowboy | November 16, 2007

On the way home at around 03:30 this morning, even the nearby convenience store was closed.

Well, thought I to myself, after an 18-hour day at least there is a can of Ranch Style beans I can open and scarve down before catching a few winks and greeting the dawn.

To my utter relief, I found two, count them TWO, polish sausage links that I had completely forgotten.  It’s chilly and a nice greasy sausage heated up in the microwave just really hits the spot after a day like today.

Here’s hoping you don’t have such a day any time soon, but still get a taste treat surprise anyway.

Cheers!

Topics: Beans, sausage | No Comments »

Why I should never look at Scandinavian designs….

By Culinary Cowboy | November 12, 2007

I cannot believe how awesome this teapot is!
Okay – yes, it appears as though the spout would drip.
It also looks as though it would totally off balance when you try to pour it, unless there’s another handle just like it on the other side. It’s definitely a two-handed pour. As clumsy as I am, I still would spill it.
Finally, it costs $168.00 (or about €17.50 or £6.70 – sigh, ok I exaggerate). Do you know how many “Brown Betty” teapots you could get for that? You get exactly eight (8) comparable “Brown Betty” teapots for that amount.
However, it is awesome to behold.
Nope, must stay away from Sandinavian designs.

Topics: design, Tea | No Comments »

Yet even more on tea . . .

By Culinary Cowboy | November 12, 2007

Twinnings Earl Grey TeaSomeone noticed the previous post about purchasing loose teas and asked me for a source.

In Texas, I have found a decent selection of loose teas at Central Market, Whole Foods and Sun Harvest. You have to be careful about how they are stored. You don’t want them exposed to light or air (such as in clear plastic bins at bulk purchase centers).

Much to my delight, at the occasional Kroger, HEB and Albertsons, you will find Twinnings tea in loose form in nice tins. If you take the time to compare, you likely will find that this nice English loose tea costs no more, if not less, than domestic bagged teas. When they empty, you have a nice container to hold other stuff (or future loose tea purchases that do not come in tins).

Just recently, I have started seeing loose Lipton tea at Wal-Mart, HEB and Kroger, perhaps Albertsons as well as it has been some time since I have been in one (come back to San Antonio!). I don’t know if this is due to the introduction of the iced tea maker or not. I honestly thought those machines had already come and gone.

I love a good cup of tea, but I am not a snob. Most people just want a tasty cup of tea that is not bitter as hell and Read the rest of this entry »

Topics: Beverages, Tea, Texas | No Comments »

Grandma Virginia’s dressing

By Culinary Cowboy | November 9, 2007

If you don’t have a good cornbread based dressing to go with your Thanksgiving turkey, I strongly recommend this one.

The Dressing

*Substitute 1-tsp. fresh sage for 1 tsp. of poultry seasoning. **
**Personally, I would at least double that amount of sage and throw in some thyme as well. (editor)

Sauté onions and celery in the butter. Put the other ingredients in a large bowl. Add the sautéd onions and celery and butter. Start mixing. Add hot water to the make the right consistency – plan on on about 5 cups. Use chicken bouillon or chicken stock for better flavor.
Bake in a flat pan at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Not for stuffing bird.

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Website Posting with Family History

Topics: Cornbread, Heritage Recipe, Holidays, Side Dishes | 1 Comment »

Another tea post

By Culinary Cowboy | November 9, 2007

Teapot Mexicana

Teapot Méxicana – Could not resist getting this for mother’s teapot collection. I picked it up at the Terlingua Trading Company in Terlingua, Texas. For pictures of the area click here.

As goofy as this might look, it is a great teapot. It’s big, but it is well balanced.

I first thought it was gaudy, but it quickly grew on me.,

Topics: Bargains, Tea, Texas | No Comments »

Bargain tea this morning

By Culinary Cowboy | October 30, 2007

Imagine my surprise when I discovered a box of loose tea on the shelves among the many boxes of tea bags being offered.Morning Tea
Even more surprising was that it was Lipton.

Normally, when I find loose tea it is Twinnig’s tea. I am talking about regular supermarket shopping, mind you. This was at Wal-Mart, which featured loose Lipton, but bagged Twinnig’s.

Loose tea made a bit of a comeback with tea makers, akin to coffee makers. However, those do not seem to have taken off, and one has trouble finding the loose stuff.

So, what’s the big deal? Read the rest of this entry »

Topics: Bargains, Beverages, Tea | No Comments »

Castano Stew

By Culinary Cowboy | October 29, 2007

Castano was the street where this dish was born.  I was looking for a healthier dish for my friend Jim.  The call was for low carbs, low fat and low cholesterol.  Since then, Jim has developed a distaste for one of the power powders used here – cumin.
The hardest part about this dish is roasting and peeling the serrano and bell peppers. Cut the tops off and pull out the seeds and membrane. You can slice them in half lengthwise, if you wise for roasting, or just do it whole.
For roasting, you can put them on a cookie sheet and pop them into a hot oven. drop them into a hot skillet (without oil). If you have a gas stove, you can roast them over the open burner flame.
I prefer to do it over an open flame. Usually, I use the propane grill. When the skin starts popping and charring on one side, turn the pepper over and repeat. Once they have been around once, I shut off the flame, close the top of the grill and let it sit maybe five minutes.
Okay, what do you do next? Well, some folks say to peel them with your hands under running water. Others say plunge them into a bowl of ice water. Jamie Whosis, “The Naked Chef”, recommends you pop them into a zip top plastic bag and let them sit. That seems to work the best for me.
Or, you can skip all that and just seed them if you want to. I like the roasted flavor better.

Read the rest of this entry »

Topics: Peppers, pork, Recipes, Stews | No Comments »

Old Army Chili Recipe

By Culinary Cowboy | October 26, 2007

I was rummaging around the the library at the Institute of Texan Cultures and found this item from the 8 March 1981 edition of the San Antonio Express News. Columnist Maury Maverick was reviewing The Great American Chili Book by Bill Bridges – Rawson Wade Publishers, Inc. (out of print).

This is a recipe from Manual for Army Cooks – 1896. It tells a soldier how to go about making a one-person serving of chili. It doesn’t say, but I assume the flour that is called for is for dredging the meat prior to browning it. From the looks of it, it could be cooked in the old aluminum Boy Scouts mess kit I grew up with. Read the rest of this entry »

Topics: Beans, Chili, Grandpa Cecil stories, Onions, Recipes, Rice, Roundsteak, UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures | No Comments »

Cafe etiquette

By Culinary Cowboy | October 24, 2007

You see this guy?

Phoney guy
He thinks he’s special. Read the rest of this entry »

Topics: Eating Out, Etiquette, Mobile Phones | No Comments »

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